11 Points in Time is the newest release under the DRIFT. moniker by British-Italian producer Nathalia Bruno. Following on from 2020’s debut album Symbiosis, Bruno’s newest effort is a noirish unpacking of a decades-old disappearance. Rooted in the work of Rosi Crucci, lost to the world in 1979, 11 Points in Time interprets field recordings found on cassettes in the attic of the last house she lived in as well as poetry and journal entries into 9 musical snapshots. Taking on a noirish tone, 11 Points in Time delves deep into this historic mystery and comes out with a series of cinematic scenes, wavering on deteriorating film. Almost memoir by proxy, the album excavates these memories lost to time. Baked into this is an element of retro-futurism – this hidden past awakening in a foreign future. Over the course of this one-way phone call with someone lost to time, the enigmatic knot comes somewhat unravelled and exposes these forgotten micro-scenes.

Opener ‘The Bending of Blood’ is sullen and dingy, horns and voices blaring just out of reach. The found sound and music meld together to form a nighttime street scene that cuts off just before it would reveal any more. This opening snippet establishes the unshakable mystique of 11 Points in Time. ‘The End’ follows this with a tense guitar motif and strings that painfully wilt below the rounded vocal delivery. Much of the album has this sinister presence piercing it, feeling as though it could accompany a thriller movie.

However, that isn’t all that 11 Points in Time has to offer. ‘Mirrors’ is akin to recalling a tainted memory of quiet reprieve. Whilst the dark undercurrents constantly lap at the album’s feet, it is fully capable of conjuring this faint comfort, as though watching lo-fi footage of intimate moments. The closing track, ‘Ashes of Experience’, has this bittersweet warmth to it, just barely out of touching distance; watching the sunrise as you freeze to death.

11 Points in Time’s scenes from a life come together to represent the incomplete picture of an unsolved mystery. ‘Red Lights’ is a nocturnal voyage past thriving clubs, ‘O’ Red Planet’ is a tumble down a bottomless rabbit hole, ‘Data Dada’ is a cyberpunk dirge – not all of it lands, for me, but it makes up an undeniably interesting project. The approach to collating these moments into song is fascinating, and while I personally find the instrumental explorations more rewarding (though I can’t deny ‘Red Lights’ hits the exact right balance), the album as a whole is a cohesive and well-crafted effort, haunted by an enthralling mystery.

DRIFT: 11 Points in Time – Out 10th November 2023 (God Unknown Records)

– The End (God Unknown Records 2023) – YouTube